Kiffin pays price at USC (funny), but Carroll and Bush skate (JUST ADDED: Carroll’s video response. He’s shocked!)

Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll left the USC campus before the penalty came.

Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll left the USC campus before the penalty came.

(Online readers: I’ve combined the previous blog and updates into one column, recast for print. But I’ve left the summary of sanctions and links to the NCAA’s report below. Also, I’ve added Pete Carroll’s video response below. No surprise: He expresses shock. By the way, great comments today on both this and the Auburn blog. Thanks, Jeff.)

The first reaction across the South? To fall over in laughter over the fact Lane Kiffin’s Valhalla just turned into a shack with the word, “Condemned” on it.

Tennessee, the school he bolted, is considered bare these days by program standards. But the Volunteers can claim one thing that USC can’t in the next two years: They’re bowl eligible. How must  that feel in the Kiffin household? Envious of Independence Bowl eligibility?

But once we get past the humor – and granted, that may take a while — the flaws of the NCAA’s policing procedures once again dominate the day.

USC got smacked by the NCAA, smacked like no major football program has since Alabama in 2002. Four years of probation, a two-year bowl ban, the loss of 30 scholarships over three years and – hey look, there’s suddenly room in the trophy case! – the mandate to vacate all wins from the 2004 and 2005 seasons, which includes a BCS title.

The positive news: The NCAA, which too often sends mixed messages, proclaiming it’s all about academics but then approving expanded seasons and tournaments and selling out to networks with late-night kickoffs and tip-offs, at least did the right thing.

The problem, as always: They did it too late. The criminals are gone.

♦Pete Carroll. He has a $33 million contract to coach the Seattle Seahawks. At USC, he lacked either control or awareness, and you can decide which is worse. If there’s any solace to be taken, it’s that he may not be in the postseason the next two years, either.

♦ Reggie Bush. He is making millions in New Orleans. He just won a Super Bowl. At least now he can afford legal housing for his family, as opposed to what he took before from an agent, which was everything: housing for his family in San Diego, limo rides, a car, $10,000 in furniture, a washer and dryer, etc.

♦ O.J. Mayo. He was a first-round NBA draft pick in 2008, which means he is making even more money with the Memphis Grizzlies ($30 million) than he received illegally leading up to and during his one season as a “student-athlete” at USC. The summary: cash, lodging, transportation for himself, girlfriend, mother and brother, a trip to Las Vegas, a $1,400 television, a cell phone, wireless service, watches, clothes, shoes and a personal trainer.

♦ Tim Floyd. At least he’s only the coach at Texas-El Paso now. But considering he began meeting with an “agent” for Mayo when the kid was a junior in high school, he should be coaching at Folsom.

“The general campus environment surrounding the violations troubled the committee,” the NCAA said.

Referring to those who triggered, committed or failed to report violations, the statement added: “Their actions also threatened the efforts of the NCAA and its member institutions to sponsor and support amateur competition at the collegiate level.”

Bush is a coward. He released a statement that claimed “regret” but admitted no wrongdoing.

His words: “…I very much regret the turn that this matter has taken, not only for USC, but for the fans and players. I am disappointed by [Thursday's] decision and disagree with the NCAA’s findings. If the University decides to appeal, I will continue to cooperate …as I did during the investigation. … I will continue to focus on making a positive impact [for USC] and the community where I live.”

Wonder what island resort he faxed that from?

The main criminals won’t pay the price, but Kiffin will. That’s just. In addition to the whole karma thing, he was a USC assistant from 2001 to 2006, when violations occurred.

Athletic director Mike Garrett will. Also just. Three of his programs (football, basketball, tennis) just got hit with probation. Why does he still have a job?

Current student-athletes will. That’s wrong. Every one should be allowed to transfer, with no restrictions.

The NCAA and pro sports leagues also need to work together to figure this problem out. Maybe a clause can be added to scholarship and coaching contracts, stating: “Any probation resulting from the actions of [name], even after [name] departs, can result in a $17 million fine and a public stoning.”

Can we get the lawyers on that right away?

A recap of the NCAA’s sanctions against USC’s football, basketball and tennis teams.

♦ Public reprimand and censure.
♦ Four years of probation: from June 10, 2010, through June 9, 2014.
♦ Postseason ban for the 2009-10 men’s basketball season. (self-imposed)
♦ Postseason ban for the 2010 and 2011 football seasons.
♦ One-year show-cause penalty for assistant football coach Todd McNair (June 10, 2010, to June 9, 2011).
♦ Vacation of all football wins, including football bowl games, from the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
♦ Vacation of all basketball wins in the 2007-08 season, including the NCAA tournament. (self-imposed)
♦ Vacation of all wins in women’s tennis between November 2006 and May 2009.(self-imposed)
♦ Reduction of football scholarships by 10 for the next three academic years.
♦ Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. (self-imposed)
♦ Reduction of the total number of recruiting days in men’s basketball by 20 days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-11 academic year. (self-imposed)
♦ $5,000 fine. (self-imposed)
♦ Remittance of the $206,200 the university received for its participation in the 2008 NCAA basketball tournament. (self-imposed).
♦ Disassociation of football player Reggie Bush, basketball player O.J. Mayo and “booster” Rodney Guillory.
♦ Release of three men’s basketball recruits from their letters of intent. (self-imposed).
♦ Prohibition of all non-university personnel, including boosters, from traveling on football and men’s basketball charters; attending football and men’s basketball team practices; attending or participating in any way with university football and men’s basketball camps, including donation of funds; and having access to the sidelines and locker rooms for football and men’s basketball games.

Here is a link to a summary of the NCAA’s findings.

Here is a link to the NCAA’s full 67-page public report. (You may want to get comfortable before opening this.)

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183 comments Add your comment

Meatlake

June 10th, 2010
8:16 am

Alex

June 10th, 2010
8:16 am

FIRST
How much is Lane making Jeff compared to you?

Paul in RDU

June 10th, 2010
8:21 am

Jeff – What do you think is going to happen with Bush? Is the Downtown Athletic Club going to ask for their trophy back? Is it going to “disappear” like OJ’s did for a while?

82Dawg

June 10th, 2010
8:21 am

Great for Kiffin,… but I agree I feel for the players there today that had nothing to do with it.

2004 Auburn

June 10th, 2010
8:22 am

Auburn didn’t cheat.

Oklahoma didn’t cheat.

USC cheated.

Gem Dawg

June 10th, 2010
8:22 am

Awwww, man, I was looking forward to seeing Lame fail in a big way on a large stage but now he has an excuse. It is sweetly ironic, though.

2004 Auburn

June 10th, 2010
8:22 am

Enter your comments here

Hollywould

June 10th, 2010
8:24 am

I love it for Kiffin. Let’s see what spin he puts on it. Bush walks/Carroll walks/ What a twosome. Jeff, can kids who had scholarships opt out without sitting out?

Jeff Schultz

June 10th, 2010
8:26 am

Paul in RDU — Good question. I don’t know. Not sure they should. That starts getting into an area of, “How many other Heismans do they take back?” But that’s their call because it’s their trophy.

Senator Blutarsky

June 10th, 2010
8:26 am

Jeff, as to your point about players being allowed to transfer without restriction, I think USC’s juniors and seniors can do just that, at least if the bowl ban stands. http://tiny.cc/54ccn

Jeff Schultz

June 10th, 2010
8:27 am

Gem Dawg — Oh, he’ll fail in a big way. Excuse or no excuse, it will be funny.

Jeff Schultz

June 10th, 2010
8:29 am

Senator Blutarsky — I hope that’s true (not familiar with rule) but it should be freshman, sophomores and incoming recruits as well. … I’ll check out your blog.

Jeff Schultz

June 10th, 2010
8:30 am

Hollywould: That’s a 2-part answer: 1) USC would have to let them out of commitment; 2) NCAA has to rule on sitting out a year.

BIRDDAWGONE

June 10th, 2010
8:34 am

Jeff, you should check out CFN.COM, they have done a first rate job of analyzing this breaking news earlier today. I have been sitting around, wondering when the AJC would report on this. Glad to see the APRs or what ever are OK at uga and tech.

left to right

June 10th, 2010
8:36 am

Wasn’t lane a coach at USC at the time the violations occurred? Also a two year bowl ban doesn’t seem like much considering the championships USC won thanks in part to the violations.

Doug

June 10th, 2010
8:39 am

As a Vol fan, I don’t know about Kiffin failing out there. We may all laugh at and criticize him but the fact is he did some pretty serious “coaching” up in Knoxville last year. Just look at Jonathan Crompton, who was the worst starting SEC qb I had ever seen until the light finally turned on mid-season last year under Lane’s tutelage.
Montario Hardesty and Dam Williams also flourished finally under Kiffin and Orgeron(another you can laugh at, but the man can coach DLs)
The most amazing achievement was he almost beat Alabama with 2 walk-on OL that weighed about 260 pounds.
And I don’t think anyone has ever questioned his recrutiting ability, even though he will obviously be hampered the next 2-3 years.

DP

June 10th, 2010
8:43 am

Thanks for the link Senator Blutarsky. The NCAA bylaw referenced means that all of USC’s upcoming juniors and seniors are not only fair game to transfer and play immediately, but other schools don’t even need permission to contact them. I believe Tennessee is well under the 85 scholarship limit and doesn’t have an experienced QB. And Kiffin was ripping the talent level at USC this spring, just as he denigrated the team he inherited at Tennessee. It would be hilarious to see Tennessee snag a few USC players.

BIRDDAWGONE

June 10th, 2010
8:44 am

Doug, Your post is what a BLOG should be about, FOOTBALL!!!!!

bamafan

June 10th, 2010
8:46 am

If USC forfeits wins in 2004, what happens to the BCS trophy for that year? Will the national title be rescinded?

BIRDDAWGONE

June 10th, 2010
8:48 am

bamafan, check out CFN.COM and you will pray that would never happen.

SimpleDawg

June 10th, 2010
8:52 am

Glad to see Lil’ Lame getting the dirty end of the stick for a change…..too bad Carroll can be jabbed with it, also. I thought for sure the NCAA would let SoCal slide with minimal punishment.

Now, on to my biggest aggravation:

Nebraska moving to the Big Ten + 1, soon to be + 2……. and the talk of Texas moving to the Pac-10, along with it’s little brothers and it’s hated neighbor.

Where’s the tradition, the respect for your heritage and your ancestors? Nebraska, long viewed as a proud and revered football program and perceived as “the Girl Next Door” has been revealed as a “made up pretty” prostitute just waiting for a “john” with the right amount of money.

The coup de gras would be for Texas, and all of that talk of Texas pride, Texas grandeur, Texas tradition, Texas strength, etc., etc., etc., would join up with the anti-Texas, California-weirdo, Hippie grunge NW, conference.

Oh, the disgust of it all! Football Gods, why have you forsaken us?

Money is indeed the root of all evil…..especially, if you don’t have it and long for it.

If the Ho’ Huskers move to the RuBAC ( Rust Belt Athletic Conference)…..fine, so be it. The Big 12 should restructure their money sharing agreement among members, add Houston or TCU, and keep on keepin’ on. Let the Pac-10 add Boise State, who’s looking for a “Sugar Daddy” and another team ( Utah, BYU, FresnoSt ), and have a championship game also.

There’s not much damage done, and the competition for the National Championship is leveled even more.

I’m done…..for now.

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Clay

June 10th, 2010
8:53 am

I don’t know, Jeff. I think we should stone the lawyers FIRST, then the athlete/coach. Ha.

UA Alum92

June 10th, 2010
8:53 am

Jeff, will the NCAA report detail the violations, e.g., “while on NCAA scholarship at the University of Southern California, Reggie Bush and his family received financial assistance from supporters of the university in the amount of $300K in violation of NCAA rule ????? governing student athletes?”

Paddy

June 10th, 2010
8:57 am

I don’t believe any player regardless of his year in school should be subject to sanctions because someone else got their school on probation. Thats like sending you to jail for 3 mons because you knew the guy that robbed the hardware store.. I hope they all walk and send CLK to another job. Lets say Snow College in Utah.

BCS

June 10th, 2010
9:03 am

Dang, bamafan, if we took back championships for probation, we’d have to get most of Bama’s back…

Couch Tater

June 10th, 2010
9:03 am

Banning USC from post-season bowls will also hurt the other Pac10 schools. Maybe, USC will divide their previous TV revenue shares with them to compensate. heh heh

BIRDDAWGONE

June 10th, 2010
9:04 am

I think it will be funny if Texas and the crew go to the PAC. The BIG whatever would then go from the second strongest conference to the third. The sad part is we would never see the NC determined on the field again. The ROSE BOWL is loving this.

La Jolla Dawg

June 10th, 2010
9:04 am

Didn’t Kiffin do some questionable things while at UT? I thought NCAA was looking into violations there as well? Something to do with recruiting and hostesses? Will that investigation take four years to complete too?

TommyJack

June 10th, 2010
9:06 am

In all fairness, it couldn’t have happened to a better bunch.
GBO

Doug

June 10th, 2010
9:07 am

Thanks Birddawggone,
I wish posters from all schools would spend more effort telling us what is going on with their team rather than the childish bashing of other programs. We could really have an interesting and informative forum here.
Did you hear the one about the Alabama coed(just kidding!)

NoGaGator

June 10th, 2010
9:15 am

If the reports on cfnsports.com are accurate, USC deserved what they received. When Garrett hired Lane (Violation) Kiffin with the program under investigation, Garrett was saying F you to the NCAA as the article noted.

Illegal in Arizona

June 10th, 2010
9:22 am

I don’t agree with punishing the kids who are currently there for things Reggie Bush, Pete Carroll and Mike Garrett did or allowed to happen. Ban Carroll from coaching in the NCAA for 10 years because lets face it, he will be gone from Seattle in less than 5. Make Mike Garrett quit or fine him a large sum. Don’t punish the kids who are there and don’t take away scholarships from kids who need them.

Let's Go

June 10th, 2010
9:23 am

This is why the PAC 10 is pushing for expansion so quickly. They bring in the 3 Texas schools along with Oklahoma and OK St and so what no one cares that USC is on probabtion or stinks for next 4 or 5 years.

P-Man

June 10th, 2010
9:26 am

I am really surprised the NCAA showed some guts, but it took WAY too long. Carroll and Bush are LONG gone.

On a related note, I wish Notre Dame would just join the Big Ten, and let that be it. The super conferences are going to ruin college football. However, If there would be 8 of them, we could have a playoff- the conference championship games would be the first round, and then you have an 8-team playoff.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 10th, 2010
9:28 am

This is Great News!! Especially on the recruiting front. USC had some 5 stars on their wish list and this may cause them to go elsewhere no…perhaps Carver-Columbus RB Crowell…maybe going to UGA now????

the Octagon

June 10th, 2010
9:30 am

Hey Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Chris

June 10th, 2010
9:38 am

Jeff, Lane has jumped around so many times I can’t remember, but wasn’t he coaching at USC during the Reggie Bush days? If so, I don’t feel too bad for him.

Judge K. M. Landis

June 10th, 2010
9:38 am

Is there any valid reason why the NCAA can’t punish coaches who cheat and condone cheating? These rascals could still fly to the NFL, where they are seldom successful, but what about suspending them from college coaching for the period of probation, or perhaps for life? Some type of punishment would cause guys like Calimari and Granny Lou to think twice before they drop bribe money or otherwise cheat.

PMC

June 10th, 2010
9:39 am

Ultimately that penalty is not harsh enough to discourage cheating, dishonesty or working the system.

The culprits in the matter are all doing quite well….outside of Tim Floyd I guess.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 10th, 2010
9:41 am

Hello Octagon

Doug

June 10th, 2010
9:52 am

Judge Landis you should know there is a big difference between breaking the law and breaking NCAA rules. Outside of firing a coach there is not much a school could do unless there are enforceable provisions in a contract that could call for the coach to pay back previously earned wages(any lawyers on board)
I just wonder if anyone has asked if Bush or his family declared and paid any income taxes on the benefits he received. It’s not illegal to give someone moneybut anything over a certain amount, about $11,000 when the gifts took place) are taxable as income.

CrazyVol

June 10th, 2010
9:54 am

I know this might sound bad, but oh well, I dont feel sorry for the players. There big boys, like you said this has been going on for “4″ years, the punishment was coming sooner or later. If you sell your soul to the devil sooner or later you got to pay. In regards to Kiffen, Oh well.

Yourfather

June 10th, 2010
9:57 am

USC on probation is still a better gig than Tennessee. What personal encounter did you have with Mike Garrett led you to label him a miserable human being? I would apply that label to zero resume gasbags who write about people they don’t know. SC will be fine. Sorry.

Tucker T

June 10th, 2010
9:58 am

I do agree Jeff that the persons responsible are not going to take the fall with the exception of Garrett who is still at USC. I do think the players should be given the option to transfer without penalty and I like the idea of penalizing the head coach regardless of whether they are still with the team. Garrett should also be fined, fired, stoned, whatever. He’s the boss and this stuff happend on his watch. I’m sure he claims that he knew nothing about it. The only people that truly pay for this is the fans, the current players, and the current coach…of course in this case, we don’t mind the last one too much.

collegeballfan

June 10th, 2010
10:02 am

The Downtown Athletic Club will not get their Heisman Trophy back from Bush, but they can at least remove his name from their list of winners.

Do not feel sorry for the players, all signed with USC knowing this stink was out there.

uga_b

June 10th, 2010
10:03 am

This never should have taken this long.

UA Alum92

June 10th, 2010
10:06 am

Congratulations, USC! If there is anyone cocky enough to try to get around the NCAA sanctions on recruiting it’s Kiffin. My prediction is they will be staring down the Death Penalty within 5 years. So long, Men from Troy! It’s been fun.

UA Alum92

June 10th, 2010
10:09 am

Congratulations, USC! If there is anyone brash enough to try to get around the NCAA sanctions on recruiting and scholarships, it’s Kiffin. My prediction is that USC will be staring down the Death Penalty within five years. So long, Men from Troy! It’s been fun.

the real Old Gold

June 10th, 2010
10:09 am

I think Lane comes out on the best end of this deal.. if he wins.. he does it against all odds… if he loses.. he has an excuse.. and he gets 3 years to build a program.